“German philosophy had its inception with Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz, whose theories are permeated with the qualities of optimism and idealism. …
“Matter reduced to its ultimate particles ceases to exist as a substantial body, being resolved into a mass of immaterial ideas or metaphysical units of power: to which Liebnitz applied the term monad. Thus the universe is composed of an infinite number of separate monadic entities unfolding spontaneously through the objectification of innate active qualities. All things are conceived as consisting of single monads of varying magnitude or of aggregations of these bodies, which may exist as physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual substances. God is the first and greatest Monad: the spirit of is an awakened monad in contradiction to the lower kingdoms.” ~Manly P. Hall
To be honest, I had never heard of Leibnitz until I read the brief blurb on him in the book on philosophers by Manly P. Hall. Now that I have briefly looked at some of his ideas, I can understand why.
Leibnitz, while seeming to express some spiritual beliefs in the text quoted, seems to be more of a materialist than a spiritual philosopher. One of his most famous quotes is that this world is the best of all possible worlds. Most spiritual philosophers would disagree. Nonetheless, what he says in the quote is both true, and a little shocking.
Leibnitz and Quantum Physics
When Liebnitz proposed the idea that when you look deep into the particles of which material objects are made, and go down to the smallest of these, you find no particles at all, but only, in his words, ideas and “metaphysical units of power”. In other words, it all resolves into energy, or light. But his inclusion of ideas as part of it indicates that thought has some control over the form this matter takes.
In modern quantum physics, matter is found to be nothing more than energy and light and the universe that most still believe to be so substantial, nothing more than a hologram. That is almost exactly the same thing Liebnitz said 400 years ago! Now lets consider what this philosophy means to us today. Continue reading “Immaterial Ideas and the Philosophy of Leibnitz”